Two polytechnic college principals appointed allegedly sans requisite qualification

Two polytechnic college principals appointed allegedly sans requisite qualification
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Degrees in food technology, wood engineering not enough, say shocked faculty members

IRSHAD KHAN
SRINAGAR: ‘Sidelining’ norms, the Technical Education Department has appointed ‘ineligible’ principals to at least two polytechnic colleges in Kashmir with the principals being without even required engineering degrees, sources said.
Insiders from the department cited All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms to state that a lecturer becomes eligible to be appointed as a principal “only after years of experience first as a lecturer and then as a Head of Department (HoD)”.
“But the norms have been thrown to the dustbin while appointing the principals of the colleges. They do not even have engineering degrees. How can they head the colleges? As per AICTE norms, they are not eligible for the posts,” the insider said.
“As per norms, preference should have been given to postgraduates and those having higher qualifications, but ironically candidates having a postgraduate degree in food technology have also been made principals,” he added.
The college principals’ appointments have been “total chaos”, a top official in the Technical Education Department said.
He said that the principals to the colleges had been appointed “under political influence”.
“This is the first time that people from non-engineering backgrounds have been elevated in this way. It is clearly a violation of norms,” said the official.
While the principal at one of the colleges is a “simple postgraduate in Food Technology”, the official said that another principal has a “post graduation in Wood Technology”.
Admitting that the principals of the two Valley colleges had post graduations in Food Technology and Wood Technology, Director, Technical Education, Shabnum Shah Kamili however said that the specific criteria for their appointment as principals were “not identified” in the recruitment rules.
“(Although) it is mentioned in the recruitment rules that the principals should be from engineering/non-engineering branches, but what is not identified there is what should be their qualifying percentage or in what proportion should be the qualifying percentage for engineering and non-engineering branches,” Kamili said.
The Technical Education Department, Kamili said, has “proposed an amendment in the rules which has been forwarded to the government”.
Asked whether the AICTE norms should have guided the appointment of principals, Kamili remarked, “We have our own SRO, which guides us here.”
Eighteen new polytechnic colleges were announced by the government in the year 2012 in addition to the six colleges set up earlier.